How's Married Life?

'How's married life?' 

I get asked this a lot and to be honest I'm not even sure what it means anymore. I've been married to James for nearly two years and in the beginning, we got asked this literally every single day. I guess it was the novelty for some people; for some reason they like to wind you up as if marriage is a bad thing. But even now, 21 months down the line, family members or even friends I've not seen for a while will ask 'how's married life?' rather than ask how you that their way of asking?

I just find it to be a bizarre question. Should married life be any different? I'm here to tell you it's not. Some folk think that by getting married everything somehow gets better. There is also a lot of assumption for men that once a guy gets married, he'll be miserable for the rest of his days. Truth be told, we've developed and learnt a lot, but nothing between us has changed. Our family has grown; we now have two dogs as opposed to one when we got married but apart from that, everything is as it was before.

I find it strange that 'how's married life?' is even a common question because I've never been asked or overheard anyone else asking 'how's relationship life?' or even more rudely 'how's single life?'. It's exactly one of those Bridget Jones moments where Uncle Geoffrey asks 'how's your love life?'. It's just awkward, especially if you're quite happy being on your own yet the expectation is always slapping you in the face wondering when you're going to find someone and settle down.

Married at 24, that seems pretty young. Some people get married younger, some people get married in their 60's and some people never get married at all. Thing is, everyone is more than entitled to do things at their own pace yet society is somehow telling us that by your late 20's you should be married and thinking about having kids if you haven't already done both of those things. And by your 30's you've definitely needed to have found your dream job and bought a house. Pardon? Since when were there deadlines and cut off points for these things?

At no point do you have to grow up. That's something I've learnt as I've gotten a bit one is there to tell me not to paint my walls pastel candy stripes or to not buy one more cuddly toy. Heck, we made a point of wandering around the new Toys R Us store in Leicester's Highcross a few weeks back because we wanted to check out the Lego, Shopkins and Hot Wheels. On days off together, we're more than likely playing on the Playstation, we play fight (which most of the time ends up in me getting injured because I've thrown myself across a sofa trying to tackle and I've landed on my neck, or worse, the dogs or the Crosley player...) but what's to say you can't make your own rules? 

I 100% appreciate that some like to have an idea of when they'd like to do things and planning is great. But another thing I've learnt as I've gotten older is these plans shouldn't be taken too seriously because you can't plan things like marriage, houses and babies. When I was younger, I used to think yeah I'll have had my first child by the time I'm 26 and now I am 26...that ain't gonna happen! I think it's very easy to feel as though you should have your life together by a certain age and it can look like you're falling even further behind if you're not in a relationship, have the job of your dreams or have started reproducing. It breaks my heart when I hear my friends telling me that they feel like they've majorly screwed up their own lives by not having done certain things when others have already done them, why do we feel this way?

The 'how's married life?' question makes me cringe because the last thing we ever wanted to do was make a big deal out of getting married. Sure, it's a big step but we didn't want the hullabaloo of organising a day for ourselves which would inevitably be about pleasing other people. We kept it small, still offending folk in the process and I got a lot of stick from work colleagues for keeping it a secret. Things have continued just as they were inside our relationship, time has made us stronger not the overnight process of changing your name and wearing a new set of rings.

Of course, it also seems a pretty harmless question but when it's all you seem to get asked it starts to feel a little dull as would most things being said on repeat. Now for the next typical set of questions - 'no kids yet?'

Thanks for reading,

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